Lake Ontario Fishing Includes These 5 Distinct Styles


One of the five Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is surrounded by the Canadian province of Ontario and the state of New York, with the city of Rochester located on its southern shore. It empties into the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence River. Lake Ontario spans seven regions of upstate New York, including Niagara County and Oswego County. You will definitely want to check the species you want to target and their different opening seasons, and you can do this with the help of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Sport fishing fanatics will have their pick throughout Lake Ontario, with many sought-after species.

salmon fishing

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Although you may also have a chance to fish for Coho or Atlantic salmon, Lake Ontario’s big draw is Chinook salmon fishing, followed by King salmon. The best time of year to catch trophy salmon here is between April and November. In fact, an angler caught two world-record chinook salmon in September 2020 while fly-fishing the Salmon River, which empties into Lake Ontario. The first weighed 15 pounds 12 ounces and the other weighed 20 pounds.

Rainbow/rainbow trout fishing

lake ontario fishing


Anglers can catch rainbow trout just about any time of the year, especially along the Niagara River or any of Lake Ontario’s many other tributaries. Fishing for winter or summer spawns usually gives the best results. In the spring, trolling the shores of the lake is your best bet. Crankbaits and spinners top the list of lures for these fish.

Lake trout and brown trout fishing

lake ontario fishing


These trout dominate the Lake Ontario fishery in the spring. Anglers frequently catch lake trout weighing over 30 pounds, and they’re fairly easy to catch in colder waters. For brown trout, a trolling setup along warmer shorelines is the way to go.

Fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass

Spring Bass Bait Setups


Head to the eastern basin of Lake Ontario in the summer for a chance to see largemouth and smallmouth bass. Although they don’t get as much attention here as other sport fish, anglers have caught record bass around Lake Ontario.

Fishing for walleye, muskellunge and pike

For winter angling, walleye can be fished with both conventional and white fishing gear. Musk monsters populate Lake Ontario along with aggressive pike.

Depending on the species you are looking for, there are many hotspots in Lake Ontario and its tributaries at just about any time of the year. For a fun and relaxed fishing trip, book with one of the dozens of fishing charters in the area.


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